Plans are going ahead for Marlborough to light its own beacon – and enjoy a party – to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee on Monday June 4 next year.
Queen Elizabeth is due to become only the second monarch in British history to spend 60 years on the throne, the last to achieve such a formidable long reign being Queen Victoria.
And the Marlborough beacon – on the Downs at Hackpen Hill is the suggested site – will be one of more than 2,000 beacons being lit across the country and round the globe, including sites as far flung as parts of Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica.
Dr Nick Maurice, president of Marlborough’s Brandt Group, wrote to the Mayor, Councillor Alexander Kirk Wilson, in July detailing the plans being co-ordinated by Buckingham Palace, the government and Kamalesh Sharma, secretary general of the Commonwealth, for the Queen’s diamond jubilee.
“The Queen has reigned through some of the most profound and breathtaking changes ever to have taken place in our history,” Dr Maurice pointed out. “So it is absolutely right that the Queen’s achievements – her hard work and dedication across this extraordinary time – be celebrated by all of us.”
And the town council’s Amenities and Open Spaces Committee last night (Monday) gave its approval of the project, which will now probably be organised by a special committee being set up at the town hall with Dr Maurice and other individuals requested to serve on it.
“We are all very happy with the prospect of having our own Marlborough beacon,” committee chairman Councillor Richard Pitts told Marlborough News Online.
“It will follow the highly successful celebrations the town council organised for the royal wedding in April, which created such tremendous goodwill in the town.”
One of the aims of the event is to invite as many representatives of the Commonwealth living in and around Marlborough to be present when the beacon is fired.
“I can immediately think of people from Ghana, Malaysia, The Gambia, Australia, India, South Africa we can invite,” says Dr Maurice. “And I am sure we could find many more people originally from Commonwealth countries.”